Gardening that’s Worth Its Weight in Gold

Got some free time? Start gardening! Ramat Hanadiv is running a ‘Golden Gardening’ course for those aged 60 and over who want to make use of their free time to nurture their home garden. The benefit is double – besides the pleasant and calming result of a well-nurtured garden, joint work in the garden has many health benefits; but be careful – it’s addictive! 😊

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Tzipi Cohen from Karkur had an agreement with her husband for the 35 years they lived together – she was responsible for the house and he for the garden. Not once did she go out to work in it, not even to water it, until she decided to enroll in the gardening course at Ramat Hanadiv, and since then she finds it hard to leave the garden.

“I came to the course because I wanted to learn something new, I didn’t think I would actually work in the garden,” she says, “but in the first class Eitan the instructor already inspired us to a love of the garden, tranquillity and serenity, in the way he spoke about the plants and connected them to nature. The homework he gave us was to sit in the garden, examine it and feel it without criticism and without being mission-driven.

“Following the course I initiated a project with my husband – to move the rockery that was in our yard. I worked for three hours straight and it made

me happy. Now I water the garden every day, sit in the yard and am much more connected. Recently I got my grandchildren to plant seasonal plants together with us in our garden.”

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Arousing dormant feelings

“Work in the garden is important for a healthy lifestyle as it activates the body and also develops the thinking required for different gardening tasks (choice of suitable seasonal plants, calculating the correct amount of irrigation and more),” says Orit Kasher, head of horticulture at Ramat Hanadiv. “This course is the first course of its kind that we are running here. It targets the mature population sector and combines practical instruction and guidance for each participant with respect to his own garden. The aim of the course is to encourage gardening activity as an empowering experience that also maintains health. The emphasis is on a love of plants and examination of the garden, and in each person it arouses something that was always there but was perhaps dormant.”

The course is divided into six weekly meetings of two and a half hours each; it teaches skills to all who want to nurture a growing space and spend time in it – in the garden, inside the house, on the balcony, or in a community

garden. The participants learn how to prepare a garden bed, how to attract butterflies, how to establish a herb and vegetable garden, and how to garden within containers.

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Work in the garden is important for a healthy lifestyle as it activates the body and also develops the thinking required for different gardening tasks

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Magic happens when you work

Eitan Farber, the course instructor, who has a strong background and great experience in professional gardening, mainly encourages the participants to dare. “Magic happens when you work,” he says. “Beyond being a technical course that teaches how to do things, I try to cause people to connect to gardening. The most important thing to me is that they should feel free to try, to play with things, and no to depend on a gardener. During the course they not only connect to gardening, but also to each other.”

Zamira Yankovitz, another participant in the course, wanted to grow herbs or a vegetable garden. “Now I am preparing the soil for an organic vegetable garden, as I learned in the course,” she relates. “My children are pleasantly surprised by me. I explain to them and to my husband about sustainable home gardening, and add butterfly- and insect-attracting perennial plants to my garden. .”

To register for the next session of the course, “Golden Gardening”, please contact Orit by email orit@ramathanadiv.org.il or telephone 04-6298109.

 

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The course fills me, returns me to the land, and teaches me to dare, not to be afraid to try

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Gardening tip for the summer: how to grow succulents

Succulents are a group of plants that store water and moisture, allowing them to survive in arid regions and during long dry periods. Cacti, for example, are just one of the many diverse types of succulents.

Succulents can be used in the garden to enrich plant diversity. It is possible to grow a wide range of succulents easily and very successfully together in plots and nice containers, and create an interesting miniature garden integrated with stones. A hanging basket or window box can also be created with a few succulents together.

It is easy to gather a wide range of succulents due to their ability to root easily from any part of the plant – leaf, stem or part of a branch: take the succulent, cut a piece from the side with a sharp knife and put the cut piece into a tray with moist potting mix (garden soil for succulents or potting mix that has been slightly wetted with water).

Add a little water every day or two to maintain constant moisture of the substrate. After one to two months the roots develop, and the little plants can be transferred to pots or to a garden bed.

Succulents prefer well-lit locations, but many will manage with half a day of direct sunlight and limited irrigation once a week.

Good luck!

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